(Question posted by participants in recent webinars)
There are 2 parts to this answer.
First, you need the model itself to contain behavioral examples that provide a roadmap to increasing proficiency. By describing best practices, the details in the model itself provide a vision of what “great” looks like and how to get there. So the model itself needs to be valuable. You can do this by including your high performers in the development of the model, rather than HR and L&D developing the model independently. You can find examples in the ATD webinar (Develop an actionable competency model in weeks) and associated materials you can download: http://webcasts.td.org/webinar/1499
Second, you need to make the model actionable. It has to be accessible and assessable. That means getting it off the PowerPoint, out of the spreadsheets and into your employees’ hands. Quickly. Easily. Elegantly. If you create a song and dance around a “competency model” that isn’t easily accessible by those during the development process, and isn’t assessable such that one can measure their capabilities against it to identify and close gaps with competency-based learning, then to them, it’s worthless.